The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

Is your religion your belief?

Posted by pauaprincess on June 14, 2007

This post is inspired by a discussion at Open Parachute with regard to religious trends in NZ.  Ken pointed out that in a lot of cases, we essentially inherit our religion.  You are baptised/christened/insert religious ceremony of your choice; sometime during your first year, you thereafter identify yourself as that religion on official forms for census or hospital etc.  The question is: is the religion your were baptised into your belief?

I personally was christened as a baby in the Church of England, I am Anglican, at least that’s what I put on my census forms and my hospital forms.  I suspect I was christened more due to convention, an excuse to party or to show off the baby to the relatives.  I attended Sunday School for a year, when I was about 4.  I think it was because the neighbour children told me about it, I being 4 or so was desperate to attend school if only for one day a week and was thusly enrolled at Sunday School in the Parish my 3rd cousin was the Reverend of.  My parents would drop me off in my pretty twirly princess dress, with bows in my hair, every Sunday.  They didn’t attend church at all.  It was all good until the end of the year at Prize Giving.  Now Prize Giving was held in the church, in front of all the Parishoners.  It was a full house that day and nobody told me I was getting a prize, I don’t remember what it was for but it was a book of Bible Stories and I had to go and collect it from my Reverend cousin.  I was absolutely terrified! My parents had attended and were being encouraging, in fact the entire congregation was looking at me and smiling encouragingly.  I burst into tears and my Dad ended up having to carry me up to collect my prize.  I never went back.

Everything I learned about God and the Bible was through school and my Dad, he attended Church every Sunday until he’d been confirmed and left home, he knew his Catechism and yet, despite his exhortations to Honour thy Father and they Mother (which I suspect had more to do with his wish to be obeyed than any belief in a higher being he had) he didn’t go to Church.  Instead he told me his thoughts on the Bible, Jesus and God, he told me to listen and learn to “sift the wheat from the chaff”.  He never said there wasn’t a God, but he didn’t insist there was.  I still don’t know definitively what he believes.  As for me, with my sift the wheat from the chaff mentality and capricornian nature… I believe the Bible is a guide and isn’t meant to be taken literally.  I believe all religions have a common root and don’t believe in the superiority of one over another.

So am I an Anglican?  No, I don’t think so, I inherited the religion, I didn’t choose it.  I haven’t wholly rejected it and I suppose if I had a lable, it would be Agnostic.  I like to read and learn about alternative religions, it doesn’t make me a Moslem though if I read about Mohammed.

Just lately, with issues such as the Destiny Church rearing their heads and demanding our country declare itself Christian (I wrote about that here) getting brow beaten by Christians online who refuse to believe that fundamentalism be it Christian, Muslim or the flying Spaghetti Monster is bad and the absolute rejection of the possiblity that Jesus could be married,  I find I am even less interested in Christianity as a lifestyle.

How about you? Do you actively participate in the Religion you were brought into as a baby? Do you believe in it?

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7 Responses to “Is your religion your belief?”

  1. love your blog! Keep it comin!

  2. Personally, I was brought up a ‘good christian girl’. I attended a Roman Catholic convent and for 19 years practiced christianity. Recently I moved to the Middle East, obviously living in that country, I felt the need to read into Islam and find out exactly what it was about, since then, I have converted to Islam and the happiest I have ever been. I realised all the things I questioned as a christian I don’t question as a muslim, I believe the word of the qu’ran and I know that it is all true whereas with the bible, as a christian, I questioned how much had actually been changed..
    love your blog! Keep it comin!

  3. Thanks 🙂 I feel having been brought up with religion as a very nominal part of life, I have more freedom to take from where ever I want and apply it if I feel a need. Maybe one day I will settle on something but for now I am enjoying plucking a bit from here and a bit from there 🙂 I guess in my opinion, belief is between yourself and your chosen deity whether it be via organised religion or private belief.

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. This post brings back fond memories of the many religious discussions I had in highschool. After a friend had commented and questioned my religious beliefs, one day, I asked him what religion he was. He stopped to think and said, “Well, my dad is Catholic and my mom is Episcopalian. I’m more like my mom, so if I had to choose it would be Episcopalian.” We had a bit of a chuckle about that. After comparing our different religions we found that they shared many of the same standards or “rules” but the only difference was that I believed and lived mine and he didn’t. He even tried to live his for a whole week (he gave up after the thrid day, in good humor). I still live by the standards and firmly believe my religion as a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as “Mormon”, or LDS).

  5. […] person’s religion really doesn’t define their beliefs. PauaPrincess pointed this out in Is your religion your belief? This might have some consequences as we normally do assume religion defines […]

  6. B-Rizzle said

    Thanks for posting this, I love open discussions about things like relgion. I personally do not believe in relgion. I don’t believe in celestial beings, or profits, or anything things like the bible or any other books of religion have printed in them. I do not push these views on others, I actually keep them to myself for the most part, unless someone asks me my beliefs, then I will tell them, which has gotten me into some pretty heated arguments, but whatever, i move on right?

    The one thing that annoys me is when people state the writings in the scriptures of thier religions as facts, I ususally just rub it off, but there have been times, many actually, when people will pressure the topic and I end up giving my insight on it, which is this…..

    My view on scripture is that any book that is “scripture” of a religion can not be stated to be a factual guide. My reason for this being is that any book that speaks of the beliefs of that religion, is nothing more than a novel, a fictional novel, “scriptured” opinion, if you will. For example, the bible can not be stated as a factual book, it is a tool of “Christianity”, and christianity is a relgion, relgion is based on beliefs, and beliefs originate from someones opinions, what they THINK happend, or what they THINK are the views of said religion, and so therefore, religion is nothing more than someones opinion, and tne scripture of that religion is just a novel.

    I believe that relgion has really done nothing good for the world, all it has ever done is start arguments, fights, even wars. Of course, as I stated these are just my beliefs, my opinions, and I keep them to myself, I don’t crusade trying to persuade people to share in my bellefs, although in my experince, religious people have tried to convert me, to which I ignore.

    I was raised Christian, Church of God, then Nazarene, which share alot of the same beliefs, and I was a holy roller for a long time in high school, but then I started to just question everything about it, and noone could ever give me a straight answer. Then I would question other religions, when people would tell me about them, and they could not answer me straight either, so I just chose not to believe in it. I respect others beliefs, and I will listen to anyone who asks me too, I like to find why people belive what they do.

    Well thats my view on it, thanks for posting this.

  7. Thank you for sharing your view, it’s actually a lot like mine 🙂

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